Leonard Cohen. What can I say about seeing him in concert? It was like watching a tribute to his legendary life - with the man himself performing. The audience were incredibly appreciative, giving many standing ovations, almost thanking him for what his music had meant to them over the years.
His Players were all masters of several instruments, and were a pleasure to listen to in both solo and ensemble, while the man with the golden voice crooned like someone out of the ’50s. What was amazing, was for an old fellow, who hadnt toured in 14 years, he sounded remarkably good. I’ve always considered Leonard Cohen to be a Poet first and a Musician second, as his lyrics are truly beautiful, but having now seen him live, I can see him in a new light. He has a soulful musicality in performance that is much more evident than in his recordings (yes, I know - he sounds great on tape - but recordings dont always tell the truth).
He played 2 sets, totalling around 3 hours, including his early classics, to many of the more modern tracks. ‘Hallelujah’ made an unexpected entry early in the second set, and while it was hard not to hear Jeff Buckley’s voice singing along, once he got into it, I realized that his interpretation was his own, and hell - he WROTE the song - he knows how it should go (I could almost hear an additional gospel choir joining in on his choruses).
I’m glad I went, as I think the chances of seeing him again are fairly low. He might be fighting fit now, but even Leonard can agree that time is surely not on his side. Even so, even a young fan like myself can be grateful for how he nourished my early musical experiences. So Leonard - Thanks for the music. May you keep playing for as long as you are happy doing so.
Here are some tracks:
Leonard Cohen - In My Secret Life.mp3
Leonard Cohen - Chelsea Hotel #2.mp3
Leonard Cohen - Tower of Song.mp3
Leonard Cohen - A Thousand Kisses Deep.mp3
Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat.mp3
here are some flickr photos: (including the one above)